Because of this, you might have noticed much smaller flying insects buzzing around your houseplants and mistaken them for common or garden fruit flies, but the more likely species is fungus gnats.
Soil gnats is another name for these little flying insects. In the potting soil of indoor plants, they thrive and reproduce.
Therefore, if you see little black gnats flying around or crawling through the dirt around your houseplants, they are most likely fungus gnats.
Fungus Gnats Are Part Of A Family Of Insects That Include:
They typically eat mushrooms and dead plant detritus and are naturally found in moist forest environments.
Fruit flies are much larger than fungus gnats, which are considerably smaller. In actuality, they only reach a length of around a quarter inch.
Therefore, despite your incorrect belief that they are too small to do any real harm, their larvae may and will harm your indoor plants.
Fungus Gnats Like Warm Moist Soil
Fungus gnats are frequently drawn to indoor plants because they lay their eggs in damp soil.
When the eggs hatch, the young birds will eat roots, algae, fungi, and other organic matter like potting soil.
Fungus gnats are generally innocuous as adults, but the larvae can destroy your houseplants.
The larvae, as we have seen, are the ones that cause the greatest harm because they may feed on plant roots that are buried in the soil, which can cause damage to the roots and stunted growth.
A fungus gnat is most likely what you are witnessing if you notice tiny black gnats flying or crawling about in the dirt surrounding your houseplants.
How may houseplant gnats be removed?
We plant lovers don’t want to witness plants being harmed by pests. The problem enters our homes, which is gross, therefore we especially don’t want to see pests in our houseplants! The little winged creatures known as fungus gnats are about the size of fruit flies and resemble tiny mosquitoes (don’t worry, they don’t sting!). The good news is that these pests are considerably less dangerous than many others, and even better, they are rather simple to get rid of.
What are Fungus Gnats?
It’s probably a fungus gnat if you encounter a little winged bug that resembles a fruit fly fluttering about the soil of your houseplant. They are attracted to damp, nutrient-rich soils and have long legs for a fly their size. Your plants’ leaves have very little appeal to fungus gnats; instead, they prefer the damp earth beneath the plant canopy. They devour the hair roots of your plants and lay their eggs in the top layer of damp soil. Nothing is more impolite than an unwelcome guest laying eggs in your favorite plant and consuming its roots, even though their damage may be modest. These bugs eventually cause wilting, poor growth, and discolored leaves if left untreated.
Signs of Fungus Gnats
If you have a gnat infestation, you already know how noticeable they are. Due to their poor flight abilities, these flies usually stay rather near to the plant. They’ll be moving in zigzag patterns as you watch. Their tiny, transparent larvae could be visible if the dirt is carefully stirred. Yellow sticky cards are an excellent control method as well as a terrific way to keep track of their activity. See more below on that.
The Number One Way to Get Rid of Gnats
Infestations of fungus gnats typically occur when the soil is very damp. Problems might arise when plant parents provide the same care to their plants throughout the year. Consider this: Compared to the winter, our homes are typically brighter and more humid in the summer. In the winter, most plants become more dormant as a result of the changing seasons. You can keep fungus gnats from setting up camp in your plant pots by reducing the amount of water you use.
Gnats deposit their eggs in the top layer of the soil, and the soil must remain moist for the eggs to survive. It can harm the eggs and disrupt the gnats’ life cycle if you let it dry out. Your indoor plants should be soaked from below if your pot allows it. While the soil near the root ball absorbs water, the soil surface remains dry. Place the pot in a dish of water and let the water to seep up through the drainage holes to do this.
What If That Doesn’t Work?
You can intensify your treatment plan if you’ve modified your watering schedule and the gnats are still present or if you want to get rid of them quickly. Here are a few simple methods for getting rid of gnats in your indoor plants:
Apply sticky cards. In our greenhouse, you may have noticed the yellow cards on sticks and wondered what they were for. The cards are positioned directly above the soil’s surface since gnats prefer the color yellow. Checking what you’ve captured allows you to keep track of what you have while also getting rid of all the gnats that land on your credit card. Replace your sticky card every 4-6 weeks (or sooner if it’s bugged), just to be safe.
Larvae are quickly, inexpensively, and efficiently killed upon contact with hydrogen peroxide solution. Spray your soil with a solution made of four parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide.
Although unpleasant, fungus gnats can’t stand a chance against a plant parent with a game plan. To avoid these disgusting bugs, reduce your watering frequency throughout the winter and develop the habit of bottom-watering. You won’t regret it!
Where can I find gnat-free potting soil?
If you have a lot of indoor plants, it might be challenging to get rid of fungus gnats. The adults can effortlessly fly or leap from one plant to another, depositing their eggs in any location with moist soil.
The adult fungus gnats have a short lifespan, similar to fruit flies. Therefore, your fungus gnat problem will be solved once all the larvae have died.
Fungus gnats can be readily controlled without the use of dangerous synthetic pesticides by adopting natural pest control solutions and techniques. The greatest ways to get rid of those pesky flying gnats from your indoor plants are listed below.
Control soil moisture
Therefore, avoiding overwatering your plants is the simplest and most efficient way to control plant gnats and ultimately get rid of fungus gnats.
On most indoor plants, though, you don’t want to let the soil entirely dry up. To keep the ideal moisture level for your houseplants and get rid of gnats in plant soil, use a soil moisture sensor.
Indoor plant watering tools also make it simpler to water houseplants and aid in preventing overwatering, which will help you get rid of plant gnats.
Water plants from the bottom
When you water plants from the top, the top inch of the soil, where fungus gnat larvae typically dwell, tends to stay rather damp.
Without endangering the plant’s general health, bottom watering plants will make it simpler to maintain drier top soil.
Simply pour water into the plant’s drip tray or storage pot to water it from the bottom, and the plant will absorb the liquid through the drainage holes.
Never let your plant sit in water for an extended period of time. After soaking for around 30 minutes, drain out any extra water.
Use yellow houseplant sticky stakes
A very safe technique of pest control is to place a yellow sticky trap next to the plant. This will draw and catch the adult fungus gnats.
This will only work to control the adult population; it won’t address the root cause of the issue (the larvae).
However, yellow sticky traps unquestionably assist in preventing adult fungus gnats from flying to other plants.
Apply organic pest control products
To get rid of gnats in potted plants, pour or spritz an organic insecticidal soap or a neem oil mixture into the top of the soil.
I mix 1 tsp of mild liquid soap with 1 liter of water to produce my own insecticidal soap.
Neem oil has a lasting effect that aids in prevention and is excellent at killing pests that attack indoor plants. Neem oil can be purchased here.
After a few applications, these organic gnat pesticides ought to work; just be careful not to overwater your plants.
Why do gnats keep appearing on my houseplants?
What can you do to keep fungus gnats out of your houseplants? To prevent these little insects from taking over your plants, you can take a number of steps. Your quickly expanding plant will be strong and thriving without any pesky insects with only a few easy steps!
Overwatering is the main reason why fungus gnats appear on plants, so try to allow the soil completely dry out between waterings as often as you can. To keep gnats away, check the soil with your finger every few days, and once you notice it beginning to dry out, leave it that way for approximately a week. Keep in mind that these guys prefer damp environments, so pay attention to how often you water your plants!
Use a Pot with Good Drainage
In order to prevent the gnats from laying eggs and spreading, make sure the pot your plant is in has sufficient drainage. Additionally, having proper drainage will stop root rot, a horrible disease that grows in overwatered plants.
Check Plants Before Bringing Inside
When individuals initially bring plants into their homes, they frequently assume that they are bug-free. Even while that’s not always the case, it’s still crucial to examine your plants for gnats or any other bothersome small bugs before bringing them inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have unanswered queries about how to get rid of fungus gnats? To help you become the best gardening and houseplant expert you can be, we’ve included some frequently asked questions below.
Will fungus gnats go away on their own?
The fungus gnats won’t go away by themselves. You’ll need to take matters into your own hands and try several various approaches to get rid of them if you want to make sure that these bugs don’t remain for an extended period of time. The issue might be resolved by just draining the extra water, or if there are too many, traps may be necessary.
Can I spray fungus gnats?
Yes, spraying them is a good alternative if you want to be sure the gnats are gone from the plant. You have two options for treating insects: you can use water and soap to treat them naturally, or you can choose an aggressive insecticide spray from the market. Use caution while using these sprays because they can kill beneficial insects.
Do gnats fly around the house?
Although fungus gnats have wings, they only use them to fly around the soil or close to the plant. You might see some of them floating close to your mouth or nose because they are drawn to carbon dioxide as well.
Even though fungus gnats can be rather bothersome, neither you nor the plant in your pot will be harmed by them. However, it’s still critical to find them quickly to prevent an infestation. You’ll be equipped to deal with everything that comes your way if you follow our advise!